A NOTORIOUS armed robber with 20 pending cases was last Friday acquitted of money laundering charges alongside his wife after a Harare magistrate found him not guilty of the crime.

On Friday, magistrate Shane Kubonera ruled that the State had failed to prove a case against Godfrey Josi (41) and his wife Juliet Gavaza (36).

The State was represented by Marian Furidze.

It was alleged that during the period extending from 2017 to June 2021, Josi was engaged in criminal activities, including armed robberies in and around Harare with accomplices.

They allegedly robbed different persons of huge sums of cash.

Josi and Gavaza allegedly benefited from the proceeds of their crimes.

They acquired stand number 1 663 Magamba New Stands, Murewa, from Tafadzwa Jenyura for US$2 600, and a seven-roomed house at number 17 704 Rock View, Zengeza 5, Chitungwiza from Moses Kavhumbura for US$36 000, and a Honda vehicle from Jasper Tavengwa for US$10 000.

Other properties they acquired include a Mercedes Benz C180 from Joseph Matanda for US$7 000, a plot measuring 2,5 hectares at Kent Farm in Mhondoro for US$1 200 where they allegedly built a five-roomed house.

Josi also bought 10 heads of cattle from Bothwell Musandida for US$3 400, and household furniture.

The properties were held as exhibits and produced as evidence in court. While testifying in court, a police detective only named as Saurowe, said it was not Josi's first time to be arrested on armed robbery charges.

He submitted several other cases that Josi was facing.

But the magistrate ruled that the accused person was assaulted by the police to force him to admit to the armed robbery charges.

Kubonera also refused to accept the submission of some exhibits in court which the police claimed had been recovered from Josi.

The police said the exhibits linked Josi to the offence and others still pending before the courts.

Source - NewsDay